Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Yearly Review

In 2014:

We had between 1 and 4 extra members of our household for 11 of 12 months and a dog that wasn't ours for almost 4 months.
We made 3 trips to Utah, each lasting no more than 2.5 days, including travel. (One 90th birthday, one family reunion, one wedding)
We made one overnight trip to New Mexico. (Another wedding)
We had to skip out on our gardening adventures for the first time in eight years.

Isaac finished kindergarten and moved on to first grade. He discovered he loves creative writing and has natural talent in both music and art.
Jon started preschool and is reading up a storm! He continues to be creative in his engineering feats, which is both exciting and frustrating to his parents.
Kai learned to run early and hasn't slowed down. He (and, as a result, the rest of the family) struggles with a rather intense sleep disorder, very similar to Isaac's at that age. We're all hoping we can achieve a resolution to the problem in 2015.
Robyn has continued to teach piano and voice lessons as time and energy allow. She is grateful for understanding students! She was called as Relief Society 2nd Counselor in June and LOVES the opportunity to serve the women in our ward.
Mark continued to heal from the car accident and has seen complete healing of almost all of his symptoms as of about June. He quit his dead-end job and was unemployed for 7 weeks before landing his current (awesome) job. He also underwent LASIK surgery and is quite happy with the results. He was called as the Elders Quorum 1st Counselor in October and is enjoying his work there. He also serves as the PTA treasurer at Isaac's school - an  opportunity which has been nice to have, and will be nice to end as well.

To sum it all up: In 2014, we're exhausted, but happy!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Mommy School & Science Museum

We've been even busier than usual lately. (maybe it's the holidays?) One of the lame things about sleep deprivation is memory loss. I couldn't tell you most of what we've been up to... Luckily, I have a few pictures to jog my memory!

I was desperate for something the two boys at home could enjoy together. Jon REALLY wanted to go to the science museum, but we've been too busy. We got creative, and made a couple of our own "exhibits" modeled after the museum's Discovery Zone. Jon's favorite was the water play area. 

Kai enjoyed digging for dinosaurs in the rice bucket. I had a little extra vacuuming to do afterward, but it was totally worth it! 
Mark had LASIK last week, and his appointment happened to be close to the museum, so we dropped him off and went to play. All the boys wanted to do was hang out in the building area. They have these really cool new blocks made out of bamboo rings and felt. The boys weren't that interested. I could've played with them longer!
Mark's recovery has been pretty easy, all things considered. He's had to cram in some extra time at work this week, which hasn't helped him rest any, but the doctor said everything looked good at his 1 week appointment. He only did one eye, so now we're looking at getting the other one done next year. The whole idea of someone cutting my eye freaks me out, so I'm happy to let him be our guinea pig. 
Isaac finished Creative Writing Club and came home dejected. We're making a prompt jar so he can keep writing on his own. I'm so glad he was able to do the club though, since he HATED writing last year. The experience really helped him learn to enjoy it. 
I'm finishing up Jon's school application. I can't believe he'll be in kindergarten soon! He has really taken off with his reading, and he teaches himself new sight words without telling me. I think he just gets a kick out of surprising me. (He just acts like it's no big deal though)
Kai is... acting like a preteen girl. One minute he's happy scrappy, and the next minute he's sobbing. I guess this is how he is transitioning into those Terrible Twos. When I took him in for a checkup last week, he still hadn't broken 20 pounds. He's in the 3rd percentile for weight and 7th for height. He's just a bitty guy! The doctor isn't worried, but I don't like that he hasn't gained any weight in 6-9 months. (He can still get away with some 9-12 month clothes!) I'm pretty sure he could eat me out of house and home though, so we're okay there!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Mark's stepdad made this really cool Nativity puzzle. The boys LOVE it!  I thought Isaac was just doing the puzzle the other morning, but he got really excited to show me what he'd discovered. He pointed out that when flipped different directions, the pieces make letter-like shapes. I'm pretty sure this wasn't the original intent of the designer, but it is pretty darn cool!

Friday, December 5, 2014


Sometimes my kids leave me surprises. The other night, I discovered Jon's gift of an onion - all peeled and ready to go - on my bedroom floor.
Sometimes I wish they'd surprise me by vacuuming instead.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ABQ and Thanksgiving

We survived yet another whirlwind road trip! This time, we zipped down to Albuquerque to attend Mark's cousin's wedding. Somehow, we escaped without pictures. We're really good at that... The ceremony was lovely, and the decorations were amazing (his cousin is an artist, and that totally came through). Her husband just came here from Brazil, so they had some awesome Brazilian food at the reception. My kids were pretty happy. We got to see Grandpa and Grandma Bailey, which is a pretty rare treat. Kent and Paula made it too - we haven't seen them in two years, and we've missed them!
The drive down was warm and smooth, but the trip home was horrible! We hit snow, broke our windshield, and had to stop for new wipers. Luckily, Mark is good at keeping his cool in bad road conditions, so we made it home just fine.
The week before the wedding, Mark and Kai both got sick. Really sick. Nobody else seems to have caught it, and I am so glad!

Thanksgiving was uneventful, which was really nice! Isaac was a fabulous helper this year, and chopped potatoes like a pro! It was just us and Mike, so we ate and played in the backyard. Isaac was especially happy to get to play soccer. The boys made turkeys from some craft supplies Grandma Bailey had given them (I helped Kai little). Mark had been up with Kai all night, so he took a nap (he just didn't make it past the kitchen floor first).

Since the first weekend in October, we've been trying a rather extreme elimination diet to try to help Kai sleep. At first, it was awesome! For four glorious days, he slept through the night! We've never been able to replicate that though. In fact, it just went back to almost as bad as before the diet. Our food budget and my stress levels were way too high to keep going with it, since the results just haven't justified the amount of work required.
I'm really discouraged at this point. Kai wakes up less now than he did 4 months ago, but we're still averaging 4 times a night and it still takes about 2-3 hours to put him down for bed. Our pediatrician told us to just put the crib in the basement and let him cry at sleep times, but after 36 hours with only 20 minutes of sleep and a baby who was hallucinating, we abandoned that idea. We're back to taking turns sleeping with Kai in his room, and just hoping he out grows this soon.

I'll post a bunch of Isaac's creative writing soon - the club ends in 2 weeks, but he's got a lot of good stuff right now!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Creative Writing

I'm behind in posting some of Isaac's creative writing. He LOVES Creative Writing Club, so I'm pretty sure this will be a weekly thing now. I thoroughly enjoy learning more about how he thinks by reading his stuff. It's awesome.

This is two weeks' worth of writing. The first two are from a week when the prompt was to write lists. He wrote one in Dr. Seuss style, and the other is just a silly rhyming letter to Santa. The third one had a nature-themed prompt, but it had to be from the viewpoint of something found in nature, instead of a person.

What's on the shopping list? A bag full of blist? What about some daet (date) balls? Some crazy dolls? Some oozy walls? A window sill? A cillmill (nonsense word)? A dead dog? A frog bog? I don't know what to do! Just get me some thing that's new! I am mad! I am sad! I have had a lot of the list! Just get me a bag of blist. Ok I've got a bag of mist. Nooooooo! Not that!

I love Santa, so I am writing a list of prezints (presents).
Dear Santa, I want a snow man for a pet. And I want a alarm set. A car. A shooting star. I know I was good. I knew I wood (would). And I should be the one who gets a prezint (present). "The end"! The end I sed (said)! The end!

Title: The Seackrets (secrets) of the Natrer (nature) Mountin (Mountain) by Isaac Bailey
I have all of the snow, falling in the air. The white on me fills the place. It's my dooty (duty) to make it cold. I am the king of the sky. Oh, I am the Mountin (mountain), so tall and so strong, I hold people in homes. I am the strongest thing on earth, and nothing will be hot on me. I am the 1. The End.

Other updates: Our refrigerator has been repaired! It took the poor repair guy 4 hours to install the new compressor, just because of the problems with using the wrong part in manufacturing. I was just glad it was so cold outside, since we could just put the food outside to keep it cool enough not to go bad!
Jon has taken an interest in chemistry lately. He's working on memorizing some of the elements, so he can sing the They Might Be Giants song "Meet the Elements". It's kind of fun to talk to him about it - he gets really excited to talk about Carbon in particular, since that's what makes up diamonds. I'm not sure he really knows what diamonds are, but he thinks they're cool since they're the hardest objects on earth.
Kai is surviving his first stomach bug. I had totally forgotten how much work it is to have a toddler who is vomiting... (Jon didn't have a stomach bug at all until he was 2 1/2!) Hopefully we're through the worst part now, and the poor little guy can rest. He's been happy through the whole thing, which is a huge blessing!
Sleep is still illusive. Maybe once the stomach bug is past? Please?

Friday, November 14, 2014

Kai's Talent

Kai can climb. Really, really well. Too well. I'm glad Children's Hospital isn't that far away...
(The guy in the background is trying to repair the fridge. Turns out the manufacturer put the wrong compressor in it, so it only lasted 5 years. The poor repair guy has been trying for hours to get the actual compressor to work. Meanwhile, we've been 4 days with no refrigerator...)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Catching Up

I told myself I wouldn't just dump pictures here again, but I'm going to do it anyway. I just don't want to get any further behind!
Here's a few explanations: first haircut (because we had to cut food out of Kai's hair), decorating homemade marshmallows, raking leaves, Crazy Hair Day at school, park time, and Jon's first field trip. (Not necessarily in that order...)

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Boys in Costumes

We had Danny Dragonbreath (those books are awesome!), Super Jon, and a pumpkin.
Also, I carved a pumpkin, and I'm kind of proud of it.
We only had about a dozen trick-or-treaters. I now have a lot of candy that nobody in our house can eat (we finally gave in and are all gluten-free and Feingold stage 1), so I'm sure Mark will make some new friends at work. :)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween!

Courtesy of Isaac and Jon:

(Pictures of boys in costume coming soon!)

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Last night, Kai finally went down at 12:30 am (yes, it took more than 4 hours to get him to sleep) and woke up at 7:30 this morning. Only 4 awakenings in between, and all I had to do was rub his head to get him to go back to sleep! Seriously, I'm one happy mama this morning!
(No, that isn't sarcasm, this was one of his best nights ever)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Spooky Story

I have a ton to blog, but no time - Kai's Reign of Terror has not ended. One day we will sleep again, and it will be glorious. It just hasn't happened yet.

Anyway, Isaac started attending Creative Writing Club after school, and he LOVES it! This week, the theme was "spooky stories," and I thought I'd share his. He was pretty excited about it. 

Here it is, with no editing:
Title: The Best Worst Day... EVER!!
One dark, gloomy, and very scaery night... a mumy and sckelitin walked tord a big rock candy mountin (acktrly a volcano) and they did not noetess! At the volcano they got traped inside. They never got out of it antell now. Now they hont houss.
The End!

For those who would prefer a translation:
Title: The Best Worst Day... EVER!!
One dark, gloomy, and very scary night... a mummy and skeleton walked toward a big rock candy mountain (actually a volcano) and they did not notice! At the volcano they got trapped inside. They never got out of it until now. Now they haunt houses.
The End!

Thursday, September 25, 2014


It's officially been more than a year since Mark's car accident. It took almost that entire year for us to recover. He still gets horrible headaches when he is trying to learn something new, and I still panic occasionally when he's late coming home, but we're considering things back to normal.
Now that our house guests (except for Mike) are gone, all the car stuff is behind us, and Mark has a fabulous new job, we're buckling down on Kai's Reign of Terror. I have averaged 3 hours of sleep a night since he was born (not continuous hours either). With Mark's help, we've been making progress, but we're far from a decent night's sleep still. Here's hoping this goes quickly!